Our skilled team of highly qualified ecologists work in a variety of ecosystems with years of experience in:
- Baseline monitoring
- Longitudinal ecological monitoring
- Biodiversity assessments
- Surveys (vegetation, wildlife - including invertebrates!)
- Monitoring (water quality, restoration, covenants)
- Project management
- Report writing
- Research design
Water Quality Monitoring to Assess Stream Health
EcoQuest has the expertise and resources to conduct stream monitoring for restoration projects. New Zealand is increasing efforts to restore waterways. Mitigation efforts include riparian planting, stock exclusion, and reducing fertiliser use. Many local groups are documenting the benefits their mitigation practices have on stream health. EcoQuest is able to monitor stream health using a variety of methods including: Physical (clarity, velocity), Chemical (dissolved oxygen, nitrate/nitrite, phosphate) and Biological (Macro-invertebrate (MCI), Colilert concentration and E. coli concentrations). EcoQuest processes bacteria onsite using the Colilert-18 Quanti-Tray system.
Since 2019 EcoQuest has monitored streams in the Western Firth Catchment. Committed landowners of the Pūkorokoro-Miranda area have formed the Western Firth Catchment Group Trust. Their aim is to improve the health of the waterways through riparian planting. The Western Firth Catchment is a part of the Forest to Firth conservation project aiming to improve the waterways entering the Firth of Thames. EcoQuest monitors water quality of 15 sites across three major streams in the Western Firth Catchment. This is an on-going commitment providing landowners with evidence of the beneficial effects of their restoration efforts.
Fish Community Assessment Following Fish-Passage Enhancement of culverts in the Southern Hūnua Ranges
New Zealand native freshwater fish are an important part of our evolutionary history, cultural heritage and ecosystem function, yet many go unnoticed because they are small, cryptic and many are nocturnal. A high proportion of our native freshwater fish are diadromous (migrate between salt and fresh waters). Human activity, such as the building of roads and dams, impacts the migration activity of our native fish. Changes in the landscape disrupts riverscape connectivity, preventing passage of migrating fish. In 2016 in the Wairoa, Mangatawhiri and Mangatangi catchments, Southern Hūnua Ranges, Auckland Council installed structures in 18 road culverts to aid the passage of migrating fish. Prior to these installations EcoQuest conducted a survey documenting the diversity and relative abundance of freshwater fish above and below road culvert barriers. We continue the fish surveys on a five-yearly basis in order to establish the effectiveness of the fish passage devices.
Coastal Bird Surveys for Project Parore
EcoQuest can cater to your surveying needs. We have been working with Project Parore to design an effective monitoring plan encompassing seven catchments. Project Parore brings together the seven catchments that drain into the Northern Tauranga Harbour. The project aims to restore the land, waterways, and harbour habitats. Long term coastal bird surveys were chosen to monitor the response to environmental management. We designed and implemented an effective surveying system. From tandem kayaks we documented species presence and abundance along costal transects. This method enabled over 30km of coast to be surveyed in five days, covering the region contributing to Project Parore. In addition, we placed acoustic recorders at selected sites to record bird calls. Enabling birds that are wary of human presence to be recorded. This survey will be repeated long-term. We expect that as riparian planting matures, and wetlands are restored, the abundance and distribution of coastal bird species will reflect this change.